West End Boy, Family Headed for Hawaii Wish Foundation Grants His Desire to Go See Volcanoes
By Kirsten Ballard
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
For 10-year-old West End resident Blaise McNair, it's to see the volcanoes in Hawaii.
Blaise has been obsessed with volcanoes since second grade, according to his mom, Linda McNair. Now he will finally have the chance to see them in person, with help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Blaise has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The foundation grants wishes to children between ages 2 1/2 and 18 with serious, life-threatening conditions. > >
Blaise, his two sisters and his mom will fly to Kona on Aug. 25, courtesy of the foundation. They will return on Aug. 31.
Three dozen people braved Wednesday's pounding rain to celebrate Blaise's impending Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii. The event was hosted by Texas Roadhouse, Blaise's favorite restaurant.
Kattie Odon, a wish granter, called Texas Roadhouse after Blaise revealed it was his favorite restaurant. The restaurant happily obliged and created a luau-themed night in honor of Blaise's upcoming trip.
Restaurant staff formed a tunnel of welcome as Blaise entered. All servers wore bright leis and smiles.
Texas Roadhouse covered the meal for the whole group. They served a standard dish and Blaise got to pick his own meal. He ordered his steak with a grin.
"He is from here," said Lindsey Dixon, an employee at Texas Roadhouse, on why they agreed to host the celebration. She helped Blaise pick out his own bright blue lei.
Blaise, a little shy, ducked his head and sat next to his mom in the booth.
He plans on snorkeling and seeing the volcanoes. Blaise doesn't care what fish or what volcanoes - he's just ready to go.
"I don't know what type fish they have in Hawaii!" he exclaimed.
"Will you hula dance?" his sister, Kayla Mathews, joked.
"No!" he said with a grin.
Harris Teeter donated a cake. Blaise also received a Make-A-Wish gift bag complete with candy and a T-shirt that he raided with typical 10-year-old zest.
"It turned out amazing, everyone was really happy," said Dixon.
Three-hundred children are on the waiting list in the district's Make-A-Wish that covers 51 North Carolina counties. The organization is in need of fundraisers, wish granters and airport greeters to make other wishes possible. Information and registration is available at www.ncwish.org.
Blaise's diagnosis hasn't stopped his appetite for a good steak. He warmed up throughout the evening.
"I think Blaise was excited," said Dixon. "He took pictures with all the Texas Roadhouse girls."
Contact Kirsten Ballard at email@example.com.
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